Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Many Colors of Rope

October 20, 2008

Pretty pretty colors. :)

Some of these you’ve seen pictures of before, but here they are all together.
The colors unfortunately don’t come through as well as I’d like, but I’m working with a camera phone. Them’s the breaks until I get a decent camera.

The one at the top was the length I dyed last night: 30 feet of 6mm hemp. I used Scarlet 5 Rit brand dye, the liquid form. I followed the instructions to a point, though I didn’t stir constantly (it’s rope, not fabric), and I did let it simmer longer than recommended because I was *ahem* testing a new acquisition for review and got distracted. I found it easy to use (just dump in the water, heat, and go), but it seemed to take longer to rinse to the point of clear water than other methods. That may be because of the longer simmer time, but we’ll see. The color was very true to the label and very even. I also dyed two white cotton shop towels to match. I figure I’ll throw ’em in my toybag for various and sundry needs. ;)

The second one is also 30 feet of 6mm hemp. The dye used for this experiment was Purple 15 Rit brand dye, powder form. The instructions said to add a little detergent to the dyebath and a cup of salt, which the liquid form did not. I followed the directions on this batch almost exactly, and the color came out beautifully rich and even. It was somewhat darker than the package, but that’s what I was going for. It rinsed clear faster than the liquid type. I dyed two matching shop towels for this color as well. Gorgeously rich purple.

The third is another 30 feet of 6mm hemp. I used Kool-Aid for this one, three packs of Tropical Punch and one of Grape. The process is described in a little more detail a bit farther down in this entry, when I talk about my first experiments with it. The color isn’t as rich as I’d like, and didn’t seem to penetrate perfectly. I did only leave it on the stove for about half an hour, so perhaps longer time is needed.

The fourth is yet another 30 feet of 6mm hemp. This is the rope in its natural state, and I put it in the picture so you can see the base color for the previous three experiments. :)

The fifth and sixth in the picture are each 30 foot lenghts of an 8mm nylon-poly blend. To dye them, something I’ve mentioned before: Kool-Aid. The top one was Grape and the bottom Black Cherry. I also have a 30 foot length of Tropical Punch, not shown. ;) I saw several websites dealing with the idea, and all were different. The one I stuck with had some good visuals. Now, the page said to use one package per ounce; that’s overkill, people! Experiment with it, but you don’t need nearly that much. Now, you’ll notice that it’s not a uniform color. That was unexpected, but not a bad thing at all. Basically, one type of fiber took the dye and the other didn’t. The resulting effect is very pretty, almost candy-like. If I could figure out which fiber took the dye, and then find another type of dye for the other fiber? That’d be fun. ;) Any suggestions are welcome.

The seventh is 50 feet of 10mm nylon-poly blend. I used Red Rit brand dye (I don’t recall the number), powder version. I was actually disappointed in this dyejob. I followed the Two Knotty Boys‘ instructions to the letter, down to the exact brand and length of rope. I’m thinking either I completely missed something in the video I found, or there’s something odd about my water chemistry. Either way, instead of rich, even color I got an odd variegated pattern. Now, after the fact, I kinda like it. It looks vaguely like serpentine scales (only vaguely, but the impression is there).

The eighth experiment was the first I did, actually. It’s about five feet of approximately 6mm nylon-poly, dyed with super-strong tea (English Breakfast, to be precise, but any black tea will do). Brew it hella strong, strain out the leaves, then let the material simmer in the pot for a while. The color on the white rope makes it look somewhat like hemp at a glance; on fabrics like linen it makes it look antique.

To sum up: All of these experiments worked to a degree. For the truest, deepest colors, Rit seems to be the way to go. The Kool-Aid dyed ropes would be suitable to use in the mouth (bit gags and such; thank you again, Two Knotty Boys). The Rit-dyed rope I would be uncomfortable using like that unless it’s been washed several times and I was sure of the colorfastness.

All of these methods were similar in ease of use and ease of cleanup, the very simplest was the liquid Rit, which called for no additives. Colorfastness has yet to be truly determined, because that’s going to take time, use, and washings. The Black Cherry rope has been used and washed once and kept its color perfectly. As for color transfer to the skin, I think it passed the test (FM? Chime in. Did ya end up with any Kool-Aid marks in unfortunate spots? ;)).

A caveat to anyone that I practice on: I apologize if you end up with dyemarks. ;) I’ll keep soap on hand for cleanup.

As always, if anyone has any suggestions or comments, I love hearing them!

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Conditioning Rope

October 7, 2008

(edited because I completely forgot to reference and link to the company I purchased the rope from as I meant to!)

The hunt for rope began at Home Depot. 

I picked up a package of a nylon/polyester solid-braid blend and made floggers out of it. This began my fascination with the stuff. After that, I picked up another pack of 8mm nylon/poly, this one more of a twisted rope. I cut this into thirty-foot lengths, and this was my first set of bondage rope (the set I dyed with kool-aid, if you’ve been taking notes). I also picked up some ten-millimeter stock. I used this to make a rather heavy flogger that’s quite nice. 

In the interim, I bought a batch of manila and another of sisal. The manila simply isn’t going to get where I want it to be, therefore I gave up. As for the sisal, I researched it and realized it really wasn’t going to suit my needs before I wasted any time trying to condition it.

So I finally got my hemp rope in.  It’s from a company called Rawganique out of Canada.

After getting good information from Ellie Lumpesse, I started by singeing the rope to remove any sharp or long fibers.  I had a pot of water on hand in case of incident. The water attracted a certain curious pussycat.
After that, I plopped it into the pot to let it boil. It boiled for six long, stinky hours. I then dumped it out and hung it to dry.

This morning, I stretched it. My tools? Gloved hands and my feet. 

After the stretching came more singeing, then I oiled it with scented mineral oil. I’m not sure how much oil is actually called for, but I’m going to be working the rope more and adding more oil. It’s very very lovely, and I have four thirty-foot lengths of it.

I also have a spare three feet that I’ll be using for several dyeing experiments. This first batch is staying its natural color, however.

Conclusion: While I’m not completely done conditioning this rope, I will say it was worth the time. I don’t know if it’s going to be something I do often, or learn to do with any efficiency, but I’ve been enjoying this. I now understand the work that Twisted Monk puts into his stock, and I’ve heard his stuff is absolutely amazing. 

By the way, check out my bitchin’ sailor’s whipping:

It looks so much better than the electrical tape I did have on the ends of all my rope before. Oh, and the blurry black thing? Not the monster from Lost. That’s a cat trying to get his catfoot into frame while mommy’s shooting pictures.

There’s something about making your own tools. You’re putting your own time and sweat into it, and you’re putting something of yourself into it. There’s a connection there. My rope floggers aren’t the prettiest critters, but I know the feel of them. The vampire glove I made (which I gifted to DB) was downright ugly…but it got the job done, and I knew it. I urge everyone to make at least one toy for your bag. ;) See if you don’t enjoy it.

Tomorrow: Pervertibles!!

Plans Coming Up

September 16, 2008

Haven’t really done much to write about in the past few days, so I thought I’d write up things I’ve got planned instead. I can tell you that I’m kind of twitching to play; I think I’m addicted. ;)
Anyway, here goes:

  • The manila/sisal experiment was put on hold. I found out after research that the sisal is not suitable at all for my purposes and can leave tiny splinters in the skin. I may be a masochist, but I ain’t that much of one. The manila I put on hold because it seems to be overly fuzzy and I’m still trying to find an efficient way to singe off the excess (just using a candle seems like it’ll take forever). I’ll be getting some hemp soon, and I’ll try the conditioning thing again.
  • I’m going to try to redo my soft leather flogger prototype with more solid sections of the goodwill jacket.
  • I think I may have to indulge in purchasing something from Lelo. They’re pricy toys, but I haven’t heard a bad review yet.
  • Research wax play. I’m getting quite curious about it.
  • Figure out how the hell to do the braid-weaves people use for flogger handles. I have no clue.

Any suggestions?

Rope Conditioning

September 10, 2008

I have several lengths of nylon/polyester rope that are essentially usable out of the package, and they seem like they’ll work quite well. However, I keep hearing how much better natural fiber ropes are for bondage (and I’m sure they’ll hold knots better). So, gonna try this.

I already had a couple of lengths of rope sitting around unconditioned (a length of sisal and a length of manila). These are not ropes that are traditionally considered the best for bondage, but I’m not planning on suspending anyone with them and the price was right for experimentation. ;)

I’m doing some research right now (*gasp* No, research? Me? Never!) on proper conditioning, and as usual I’m getting several different viewpoints on the best way to do so.

Some people say mink oil (can’t afford it! ;)), tea oil, simple mineral oil, baby oil or vaseline, and some people just say to condition the rope with the oils from your own skin. Some people say boil, some don’t.

Does anyone have any suggestions that have worked well for them?

Leather!

August 29, 2008


So I bought an old leather jacket at Goodwill for twenty bucks. I did this as much to learn how to work with leather as anything else, because it was simply cheaper than buying leather of the same grade just to practice on.

The jacket was of a thin leather with a soft, not-quite-suede backside. I deconstructed the jacket, and used the arms to make a prototype flogger. I really only made it originally as a pattern, figuring I’d buy good leather to make a real flogger. I kind of wanted to get the feel of it.

Y’know what? I think it may just work as a real toy. The 26 falls are 1/4″, and so very very soft. It makes a wicked slapping sound, but a minimum of actual impact. It may even be softer than the brushed-out rope.

I’m pleased with the result. Now to buy good thicker leather and make something a little more intense…*grins evilly*

Getting Bolder on the HNT Thing…

August 28, 2008


So this time I’m showing off one of my new toys: nylon rope that’s been through my supersecret patented dyeing proces (okay, so not supersecret. I used Kool-Aid. What? It’s pretty and it smells like grape. ;)). The pic above is the black cherry version, the one I’m wearing is grape. *grin*

Happy HNT!
(by the way, Dee…took the bra off. Where’s my chocolate? ;))

Dollar Store Run and Craft Day

August 21, 2008

After the play-party the other night, I got some interesting ideas for pervertibles and decided to go on a hunt. Off to the Dollar Store I went!

Click, of course, for a larger image. There are four different types of clips: wooden clothespins for the purists, rubberized spring clips, hard plastic spring clips and metal spring clips. They all have different strengths. I also picked up the makeup and pencil cases I have them in.

The red fuzzy thing is a mini-duster. Very soft and tickly. The black things below the duster are vinyl headbands. They actually deliver a decent stinging slap, and one has tiny vinyl teeth on one side. I’m trying to decide if I want to try to fabricate some sort of handle for them.

Then there’s the black spatula. Don’t laugh, I saw one used to good effect at the party. ;) Then a dish brush with two nice scratchy brush surfaces with different textures. There’s a three-pack of hand sanitizer, a package of thumbtacks, and a pair of thin work gloves with a slightly nubbly grip surface on the palm. The long thing in the upper right: a two pack of glow-stick necklaces. *grin* 22″, whippy and stingy, and come with a black plastic sleeve to protect them before you actually want to use them. The sleeve itself is also interestingly stingy, and in a slightly different way.

A nice selection of stuff, no? And right around fifteen bucks, including tax.

Now, last night, during our weekly tabletop roleplaying game (my entire gaming group is kinky. It’s actually very cool), I pull out one of the gloves, some glue, and the thumbtacks. Normally during the game I’m snuggling on the couch with CK, so he was understandably curious when I started focusing on my project instead. SC caught what I was doing almost immediately and started grinning. FM couldn’t quite see me from his angle, so he just glanced over once in a while to see what was happening.

Once it became obvious what I was doing, CK perked up. “What does that feel like?” “Can I feel it?” I kept getting at various points of my creative process. *grin* I finally finished the prototype. I think I may redo it with the other glove, because the first one just ain’t cute. But, just so you can see:

It’s interesting. When I first tried it out, I was obviously using it too lightly, because CK started laughing from the tickling. I finally found the right pressure after a few tries and feedback from the boy.

Slightly off-topic, but that’s one thing I need to work on with any implement: Because I’m new and I don’t really know what the real effect of some of these things are when wielded by another person, I tend to be too timid. I need to be less cautious, but I also don’t want to go too hard, either. I’ll find a balance eventually, after some practice.

Evolution of a Flogger

August 12, 2008

In my last post, I put up a picture of a flogger I’d made out of twine. It consisted of a large number of little tiny flat braids (technically plaits, but who’s counting). Go look so you know what I’m talking about. I’ll wait.

Did you see it? Okay. So it looked at that point like a light sensation toy, something scratchy and tickly but not really painful, and lightly testing it on an arm and a leg bore that theory out.

Well, last night I got creative.
What I did here was take the flat braids in groups of four and made thick, dense round braids with them. I finished the ends in electrical tape and also reinforced the end of the handle with the same tape.

The tape is for aesthetics, laziness and (I’ll admit it) a touch of nastiness.

I think the light sensation toy has evolved into something a little more interesting…I’ll let you know how the test runs go. ;)

Productive Day, and Thinking About the Party

August 10, 2008

I had way too much time on my hands today.

The suede lace flogger I made the other day. The two rope floggers I made today, and the jute twine toy I started braiding the other day and finished today. One of the ropes I knotted the strands and the other I brushed ’em out so it was nice and soft and a neat light toy. The twine one is braided and knotted, and it may be completely ineffective as a flogger; however, I enjoyed making it as an exercise, and if nothing else it’ll look good on a wall. *grin*

I think they’ll be fun to experiment with. I’ll let you know how they go.

In other news, if all goes well, I’ll be heading to my first play-party on Saturday. I’m both excited and nervous, but I think it’ll be a lot of fun. My goal is to simply observe this time, but from what I understand that’s often the goal for the first party; that’s not always the way it turns out. So we’ll see…and I’ll let you know how it goes.

SC and FM are going, but CK can’t make it this time. From what they all say, I’ll get along fine with the rest of the group. I hope so, because they seem like interesting, intelligent and creative people. Either way, I’m determined to have a good time.

If any of you have any advice for a first-timer that you wish you had known for your first party, feel free to pass it on.

DIY flogger!

August 7, 2008


So as I stated in an earlier post, I’m going to be trying to make a few of my toys rather than spending a gigantic amount of cash. Some things I know I’m simply going to have to buy, but others…

Between using SC’s little suede-lace cat as a reference and reading up on a few things on the wonderful intarnetz, I was able to make a cat of my own. I took ten suede laces, folded them in half and passed them through a copper ring. After I arranged them as neatly as they were going to get, I used electrical tape to tightly bind the strands together. I taped them tightly enough it made a nice dense handle that’s slightly flexible, but not very. Then I used super-thin hemp cording and wound it around the electrical tape, covering it for aesthetic reasons and giving it a better grip. I think it turned out pretty well, actually. The lacing was cheap (though if I’d bought it in bulk it probably would have been cheaper; I didn’t have the self-control to wait, though. ;)), and the cost for the tiny amount of electrical tape and hemp is negligible. I’m now wondering if there’s a way to soften up the laces, and wondering if I actually want to soften them. This little toy seems like it’ll have a good sting behind it.

All in all a successful experiment, I think…and I think I may be experimenting more along these lines.

Project Time!

August 4, 2008

So…I seem to have acquired a potentially expensive new hobby.

There’s a lot of sites out there dealing with everyday pervertibles (I’m not sure if this term actually belongs to someone, but I’m borrowing it) and DIY BDSM toys and equipment, and I’ve decided to take advantage of ’em. This is either going to be really good or really frightening. *grin*

A little suede lace cat should be easy to make, from what I can tell. Rope floggers look relatively simple as well. The more complex leather things…those I’ll just save up for. I’m going to try to get a little creative with it and see what I come up with.

When I come up with something really good, I’ll post it. And simply to be fair, when I come up with something really bad, I’ll post it too. ;) Gotta have some humor.

If anyone has any unique ideas, let’s hear them!